Maria Inez Ortiz


Maria Inez Ortiz, ‘Tia Mary to everyone’, passed away in her sleep peacefully with family by her side on July 27, 2020 at the age of 89.
Maria was born January 21, 1931 in Laredo, Texas to Celedonia Ortiz (Olivares) and Francisco Olivares who preceded her in death, along with siblings, Antonio Olivares, Francisco Olivares Jr., Simona Olivares Aguilar and her husband Thomas Ortiz.
Maria met and married Thomas Ortiz on July 17, 1956 in Lubbock, Texas and lived in Shallowater, Texas until Thomas joined the Army in 1960. In 1964, Maria and Thomas adopted daughter Cecilia in Lubbock, Texas. Maria at the time worked at Laure’s Medical Clinic as a nurse.
Maria was a religious woman of deep Catholic faith. She was strong willed and hard working. She was long time congregant of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Laredo, Texas and later in life of Saint Mary of the Visitation Church in Lockhart, Texas. She was always volunteering at church whenever and wherever there was a need. Everyone was especially lucky if she made her world-famous tamales for a jamaica or some other church event. To meet Maria was to love her and to whoever she met she was immediately Mary, Tia Mary, grandma or ‘buela’ even it was the only the first time they met. She was everyone’s guiding light of faith and always ready to listen, mentor, laugh or cry with any of her extended family and many friends, especially her many nieces and nephews. She could be stern and straightforward but preferred to use a smile or laugh to advise with encouraging words rooted in her deep faith and life experiences. She enjoyed a good party and was always ready with a smile or laugh and wouldn’t turn down an offer of a beer or occasional cigarette. She never met a child, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren that didn’t need to be spoiled. After losing her husband Thomas to a car accident in 1967 she moved back to Laredo to be near family. With their support, she worked 2 jobs at times to support herself and her young daughter, Cecilia. She still always had a smile on her face when she got home no matter how hard life was. She lived to see Cecilia marry Kenneth in 1987 and upon retiring from her long-time service to the Laredo Independent School District moved in with them in 1995. She spent the rest of her life helping raise her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and enjoying her family. She greatly influenced the women and men her grandchildren became in life and always provided them unconditional love and was always extremely proud of them.
She is survived by her sister Augustina Olivares Brewer of Lubbock, Texas, her brother Juan Olivares of Lubbock, Texas; daughter Cecilia Bowen and her husband Kenneth Bowen of Lockhart, Texas; four grandchildren, Sarah Nicole Freytag, Ashley Marie Bowen, Katherine Ross Bowen & John Thomas Bowen and five great-grandchildren, Summer, Aurora, Makayla, Zander & Amelia
Memorial Service was held at Saint Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church 205 W. Pecan St, Lockhart, Tx/ on Saturday August 1st @ 10am.
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